You ever had one of those weeks? You know the kind – three different required trips to three different cities in five days….and that was just my schedule. My husband also had a two-day work trip as well. While this may sound like a light week to some hardened road warriors, I can say without a doubt that having two working parents torn in different directions at the same time, with a toddler who needs stability, is a recipe for a very stressful week. However, what made it somewhat tolerable is that one of those trips resulted in a huge step forward in actually simplifying our family’s life.
Last year we enacted what we called “Operation Simplification”. It sounds a little silly, but it has become our mantra that keeps us going during weeks like this one. The first step was to sell my fun stick-shift two-door coupe. I bought it when I was single and in my mid-20’s. We used it still to commute in, but we certainly didn’t need a third car, so it was sold a few weeks ago. The second step was to sell our house in Austin. When we bought that house several years ago, we never dreamed we would leave Austin. We also never dreamed the market would nose dive right after we bought it! However, once our kiddo was born and had some issues, it quickly became apparent we had to move close to family at any cost. So, we said to heck with it and bought a house two streets away from my parents even though that meant we were thus the unintended owners of two homes, well two mortgages at least.
After a failed four months on the market in 2010, some friends of ours rented it for a year. We still lost several hundred dollars per month by doing that, but at least it wasn’t as painful as carrying two mortgages on our own. However, when they moved out in December, selling that house became Priority Numero Uno in our household. So, we cancelled a family trip to Seaworld just before Christmas so that we could get our house on the market and priced to sell. We were extremely fortunate that this time, just two months from the day we put it on the market, we signed papers to close on the home. A new family now gets a chance to enjoy our old home. We had to take a decent loss on the home to sell it, but we no longer have the responsibility and cost of two homes – and that means a huge step forward in “Operation Simplification”.
Aside from selling that home, a real standout of the week was making the choice to bring our two year old with us on the trip to close on our house. Bringing her wasn’t an overly practical decision, but it allowed our family to all sleep under the same roof for one night in the middle of the week. My husband used his last Hyatt suite upgrade of 2011, and we got to celebrate together in style at the Hyatt Regency Austin.
I love it when hotel’s have big windows with a nice view for our inquisitive toddler. She loved looking out of the window and seeing the ducks and kayaks on Lady Bird Lake.
Little C had so much fun with us at the hotel that it made me really wish we could explore more cities together while Daddy is away at work during the week. She was thrilled with the balloons the realtor gave her at the closing! Yes, we adjusted her car seat straps before we drove.
So, my sincere apologies for the delay in replying to some emails and comments this week. We are slowly but surely getting to a point where my family’s life can be a tad more stable, but there can be some crazy steps along the way as we get there. I’m sure almost all parents can relate to doing whatever is necessary to make sure your kiddos are not only provided for, but also have the necessary consistency with their routine and caregivers. Ah, the struggles of working parents. At least we are all home now.
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